The Department of Trade and Industry's Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) on Monday said it targets to provide loans to around 50,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic using funds appropriated by the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
During a Senate hearing on the P22.4 billion proposed budget of the DTI and its attached agencies for 2021, SB Corp. President Luna Cacanando said that around P7.7 billion out of the P10 billion lodged to the agency through the Bayanihan 2 will be under the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program.
"We have calculated everything, manpower required, the process required. We are targeting 50,000 MSMEs under the CARES Program as funded by the P10 billion," Cacanando said.
"So, that would be 15,000 to 18,000 [beneficiaries] per month starting October so we are ready to process that portfolio," she added.
Under the program, micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million are allowed to borrow from P10,000 to P200,000, while small enterprises with asset size of no more than P15 million may borrow up to P500,000.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, however, said there are 1.5 million registered MSMEs in the country while an estimated three million more are unregistered.
Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan noted that the target beneficiaries are too few compared to the number of MSMEs needing assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"That's 2.5% of the small and medium enterprises of the universe needing assistance. So that is very small," he said.
He implored his colleagues in the Senate Committee on Finance to find ways to assist the MSMEs in the national budget for 2021. — BM, GMA News